Tuesday, July 13, 2010

World Cup - Big Dunc's Players to Watch

Time to check my predictions. I did not mention in my World Cup Final post that I indeed did pick Spain to win it all and I had 3 of the 4 quarter finalists correct. Not bad, but not great either.

Time now to check on my prophesy skills in my Big Dunc's Player to Watch. Before the Cup began I picked a player from (almost) each team as a player to watch. I tried not to pick the most obvious player, so my picks mostly ranged from young players who could have a break out World Cup to players who were most instrumental in their side's success or demise. Now that the tournament is done, I'm scrutinizing and praising my picks and breaking them down into "Revelations" , "on the money", "off the mark", and "just dead wrong" picks.

Revelations - these are players that very few people had previously heard of or players that people did not expect to make a mark on the World Cup.

Siphiwe Tshabalala - South Africa - This is probably my best pick, scored a cracking goal to start off the World Cup and played well in all three games for the host country. Gotta give myself props for that one.

Luis Suarez - Uruguay- 4 goals, great combination play with Forlan, oh and a handball to save his team.

Mesut Ozil - Germany - Ozil was a revelation for Germany, the man pulling the strings in the German midfield. He did fade out after the Argentina game, though, but still a rising star of this tournament.

Kalu Uche - Nigeria - The prototypical player to watch - missed a great chance against Argentina, then scored against Greece and South Korea

Shane Smeltz - New Zealand - Scored against Italy and help New Zealand be the only team in WC 2010 without a loss.

Justo Villar - Paraguay - Keeper made a mistake against Italy but was virtually flawless after that, shuting out Slovakia, New Zealand, Japan and saving a penalty vs Spain. I've seen him as honorable mention on many World Cup Best XI teams.

Milan Jovanovic - Serbia - Scored the winner against Germany and now signed a big deal with Liverpool.

Asamoah Gyan - I think we all know about this guy by now, but may not have before the Cup began.

On the Money - these picks were correct but less risky or not as influential on games

Spain - I didn't pick a player for Spain because they are all so good. I think they showed I was correct there.

Gervinho -Ivory Coast - For my money, sans Drogba, Gervinho was the best player out there for Ivory Coast. Look for more in the future from this guy.

Maicon - Brazil - Most people already knew about Maicon, but if they didn't, they took notice after his great goal.

Jong Tae-Se - Didn't score, but was North Korea's best player.

Martin Skrtel - Slovakia - Strongly led Slovakia to the next round.

Samir Handanovic - Slovenia - Could have done better on the Donovan goal, but strong overall, wears pants, now being linked to Arsenal.

Ji-Sung Park - South Korea - No brainer there

Georgie Welcome - Honduras - Not much to choose from for Honduras, still has a great name.

Off the Mark

Suazo - Chile - Injury held him back

Pepe - Portugal - also recovering from injury

Van Persie - Netherlands - I said Van Persie would be key for Dutch success. Not really the case.

Christian Poulsen - Denmark - Didn't really do too much

Pierre Webo - Cameroon - Looked good in flashes, but didn't contribute too much to a struggling team.

Gareth Barry - England - When I said that Barry played a large part in the level of success for England I was kind of correct. Barry played poorly and so did England.

Yebda - Algeria

Di Maria - Argentina - Played well, but really didn't make an impact on such an offensive team. Signed a big contract with Real Madrid.

Samaras - Greece

Vela - Mexico - Injured

Altidore - USA - The World Cup has led me to reevaluate Altidore. He is currently not good enough.

Just Dead Wrong

Gignac - France - I guess any France pick would be dead wrong, but Gignac barely played and was not one to watch when he was on the field. Anelka or the fitness coach would have been better choices.

Bresciano - Australia - Not sure if he did a thing.

Gilardino - Italy - Did he take a shot the entire tournament? Man

Alexander Frei - Switzerland - Injury led him to play on 63 minutes in the tournament.

Japan - I didn't pick a player for Japan and instead picked a character from the movie Battle Royale. I did not think Japan would even score a point. I was wrong. I hope the nation of Japan accepts my apology.

Well, looks like I was about 50/50 with my predictions. Not bad I say.

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